Hypothetical superhero resolutions for the New Year
Time is a funny thing in comic books.
In order to keep things contemporary, it doesn’t pass the way it does in the real world. That’s why Spider-Man is still a relatively young guy despite slinging his first web during the Kennedy administration and Batman is still a youthful bachelor who may or may not be pushing 40 even though he was protecting Gotham City prior to the U.S. entering World War II.
Rather than age the characters in real time, publishers keep them in the same general age so they don’t have to constantly replace best-selling characters whose arthritis would keep them from leaping rooftop to rooftop. Stories are adapted so that, for example, Iron Man’s origin is tied to the Middle East instead of Vietnam now.
It’s gotten even screwier with DC’s New 52 initiative, collapsing the company’s main timeline into a five-year period where everything happened except the stuff that didn’t.
My point, obviously, is who knows when comic book characters make New Year’s resolutions?
Perhaps it’s in the odd New Year’s themed issue which happened about the same number of years ago today as it did in 2006. Or perhaps they do so in the odd comic book-related column in a publication focused on the end of the current year. Like so:
– Superman – (SPOILER ALERT for “Man of Steel”) Don’t break villains’ necks. Come on, I’m Superman.
– Galactus – Instruct my heralds to seek out more gluten-free planets.
– Batman – Give the Daredevil movie another chance.
– Groot – I AM GROOT! (translation: Get a word of the day calendar.)*
– Kilowog – Conduct continuing education classes for the Green Lantern Corps, reminding them their rings are limited only by their willpower and imagination so they can use them to do things besides shooting or dismembering their enemies.
– Gambit – Change my codename to Five-Card Stud.
– Lex Luthor – Humiliate and destroy Superman. I really think this is the year.
– Ultron – Take control of the Nielsen servers and inflate the ratings of “The Blacklist,” starring the incomparable James Spader.**
– Green Arrow – Regrow the Van Dyke. Age.
– Apocalypse – Work on rebranding since that whole 2012 thing didn’t work out.
– Supergirl – Try to keep my most recent origin, at least for a few more years.
– Blade – Use more blunt weapons, just to throw the vampires off.
– Wonder Woman – Get my movie greenlit! Marvel’s doing Ant-Man, by Zeus’ beard!
– Brother Voodoo – Come back from the dead. Except for Captain Mar-Vell, the Marvel afterlife is pretty empty.
– Amazo – Change name to “Competent-o,” lowering expectations and therefore pressure.
– Wolverine – I’m the best there is at what I do, and what I do does not include making New Year’s resolutions.
– Elongated Man – Find out if I’m still dead, alive or never existed in the New 52.
– Iron Man – Avengers, check. Guardians of the Galaxy, check. Next up: Join the X-Men.
– Aquaman – Don’t just talk to fish; really try to listen as well.
* – This joke should make sense to more people after the “Guardians of the Galaxy” comes out next year.
** – If you don’t constantly monitor comic book movie casting news, this joke will make more sense when “Avengers: Age of Ultron” comes out.
Evan Bevins is the writer of the webcomic “Support Group,” www.supportgroupcomic.com.